Author Topic: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission  (Read 33250 times)

Offline ppb

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SpaceX need not follow the 'professional astronaut' model.  Individuals on Mars will need to be creative and innovative problem solvers and techies, since for much of the time, they won't have an army of Earth-based personnel choreographing their every move.  They have 7,000 employees who are proving quite adept at getting hardware built and launched... this is the pool from which they should select* their technical experts, 'crew' if you will.  There will be room for scientists like field geologists, analytical chemists, biologists (and for medical professionals) that they may lack in the workforce, so there will be some outside selection.

If they vertically integrate all the way up to the astros being sent, then they are training that cadre already.

* Another perk

That is a way of looking at it that I hadn’t considered.  It makes perfect sense that employees designing and building the physical systems are by default in training.  I like it.  Not being addressed today is training for the space environment in LEO and BEO.
Exactly. While I like the general idea of sending people, who developed the systems, I also argue for having e.g. 2 crew members with the 'professional astronaut' background. For instance, 'EVA prep.' is a human situation much more complex, than handling the suit hardware. You are supposed to control your nervousness caused by the danger, and work carefully and methodically, exactly because of the danger. I think I could learn the technical side easily - but would fail on the emotional side. The latter issue requires the huge training. Sure, they will not pilot the landing.
Disagree. The latter requires "the right stuff". You either have it or you don't. It's less of a training process and more of a screening one.
Quam celerrime ad astra

Offline EnigmaSCADA

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Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.

Online jpo234

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Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.
NASA astronaut applications are always way oversubscribed with a lot of highly qualified people. I don't think finding appropriate candidates will be a problem.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online Slarty1080

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Para phrasing Robert Zubrin - I hope the Mars crew is going to be all Scotty's and Spock's with no Kirk's or Mc Coy's (or at least not in a primary role)
The first words spoken on Mars: "Humans have been wondering if there was any life on the planet Mars for many decades … well ... there is now!"

Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.

Apollo era astronauts have accepted far bigger risks than even the first BFR crew to Mars will. Unlike Apollo, Mars EDL will have been tested robotically at least 4 times before the first crewed landing, not to mention the rocket itself, orbital maneuvers, reentry on Earth etc: all of this will be tested multiple times, without the need for test pilots. A flight surgeon (possibly more than one) will be flying with the rest of the crew, landing sites will be scrutinized and selected with far better technology, 60 years of experience in spaceflight and 20 years of continued human presence in LEO will also be a big advantage.

Even without all of this, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts choose to fly.
Were they 'unstable Looney tunes'?

Also the most successful people are not the ones that play it safe.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2018 11:51 PM by AbuSimbel »
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Offline Nomadd

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 They should include an old guy who can build mnemonic memory circuits with stone knives and bearskins without constant handholding from a platoon of earthbound engineers a 40 minute timelag away. Using one who's a potential issue for their Mars launches because he lives in the middle of their new spaceport would solve two problems at once. Experience living at sea, in primitive conditions on four continents and surviving Korean wilderness with 70s army gear should be a definite plus. The ability to function after consuming large amounts of alcohol would also be desirable.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2018 08:56 AM by Nomadd »

Offline philw1776

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Large amounts of alcohol?  Sign me up.  I've spent days at sea too & I Are An Engineer.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Online Slarty1080

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I think Rapper BoB from this thread is a must for the crew:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43830.0
If he could be tranquilized for the flight and brought round on Mars I wonder what he would say? >:(
The first words spoken on Mars: "Humans have been wondering if there was any life on the planet Mars for many decades … well ... there is now!"

Offline DistantTemple

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I hear he does a good line in terraforming plants as well. They shoot up to 14 ft in days even in a rarefied atmosphere. Take Nomadd and they'll have a Green Mars.... in a century! The Agave americana is a really tough dessert plant ideally suited to the job. As is its human.

Edit (14/04/18): Plants used for terraforming. I've no idea if Agave (Centuary plant) or GM variants could be any use in greening Mars, but its an incredibly tough dessert plant... 
https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/agave-americana.html
Quote from: herbal-supplement-resource.com
Agave is also a food source. The flower stalks and the base leaves of agave americana can be roasted and consumed. A sweet juice which is tapped from the flower stalks, can be drunk or used to make an alcoholic beverage such as pulque.

Other agave species are also used to make traditional alcoholic drinks such as mescal and tequila, which is made from Agave angustifolia and Agave salmiana.

The leaves from both Agave americana and the sisal agave (Agave sisalana) are used to make woven mats and also to make paper. The sharp thorns at the tip of the leaves of Agave Americana also serve as needles and nails.
So I propose the Centuary plant as the first flora crew for Mars. Even in a pressurised greenhouse it has a miryad of benefits, and a good chance of success. And of course its travelling Gardener... where is he?
« Last Edit: 04/14/2018 07:27 PM by DistantTemple »
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Online Slarty1080

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I hear he does a good line in terraforming plants as well. They shoot up to 14 ft in days even in a rarefied atmosphere. Take Nomadd and they'll have a Green Mars.... in a century! The Agave americana is a really tough dessert plant ideally suited to the job. As is its human.

Steady - terraforming planets is my speciality - I got an award for all the fiddley bits around Norway don't you know...
« Last Edit: 04/02/2018 12:27 AM by Slarty1080 »
The first words spoken on Mars: "Humans have been wondering if there was any life on the planet Mars for many decades … well ... there is now!"

Offline Bob Shaw

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On a more serious note, there will certainly be a botanist (probably not Matt Damon) who will be tasked with the job of growing Elon Musk's flower on Mars. When Heart of Gold lands, he will have made his dream come true, and part of that dream will be reflected in his original ambition to bring a flower to life on Mars - and it will happen!

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